June 14, 2017

3 Reasons To Consider Selling Now

3 Reasons to Consider Selling Now

Our market conditions are ripe for those looking to move into a new home. You can sell quickly and profitably, and buy while interest rates are low.

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, three recent developments make this an ideal time to do so. 

1. Mortgage rates have stabilized. They were at 3.4% last July, then shot up to 4.3% right after the election in November. Since then, the rates have stabilized and are still very low (historically speaking).

2. Job numbers are up. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 225,000 new jobs were created in February. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen 2.3 million jobs created. Business is doing well, consumer confidence is high, and it all bodes well for the future of the housing market. 


3. Housing inventory is extremely low. February saw an almost 18% drop in the number of homes for sale. Since October 2008, we have consistently seen a steady decline in inventory. In fact, we’ve had 100 consecutive months of decreased inventory.

What does all this mean for you? Well if you’re thinking about selling, right now is the perfect time. You can sell very quickly in this market. Last year, homes were taking an average of 43 days to sell. While that’s still a great number, homes are selling in an average of just 30 days right now. With such low inventory, you can expect to get a great price for your home sale. 

It’s also a good time to buy with interest rates staying low and steady. This market is a win-win situation if you’re looking to make a move. If you or somebody you know is interested in buying or selling soon and taking advantage of this market, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.
May 9, 2017

Home Buyer & Seller Tip: How to Buy and Sell Your Home At The Same Time


Selling a home while trying to buy a new one can be a major obstacle. Luckily, there are two options that will keep you from having to pay two mortgages or move twice.

If you are looking to sell your current home and purchase a new one, there are a couple of options that will ensure you don't have to pay two mortgages at the same time or have to move twice. 

The first option is to sell your home contingent upon you purchasing your new home.This lets the buyer know that they will not be able to close on your property until you close on your new home. By doing this, you won’t have to pay two mortgages or move twice, but the buyer of your home won’t have the certainty of a closing date, preventing them from being able to lock in an interest rate. Also, if it takes you awhile to find that new home, the buyer could potentially get cold feet and walk away. 

The second option is to sell your home and negotiate a rent-back. You would close on the sale of your home in the normal 30-45 day time frame, but then negotiate renting back your home from the buyers for anywhere from 30 to 90 days or longer if need be. That gives you time to make sure you find and are happy with the new home that you’re purchasing. It also gives the buyer the certainty of a closing date so they can lock in their interest rate.


Like the first option, this option keeps you from paying two mortgages or moving twice, but it also eliminates uncertainty for the buyers. It makes you a stronger buyer, as you know your property will close. 

If you’d like to see which option would work best for you or you are looking to buy or sell a home, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to help.
April 3, 2017

How a Reverse Mortgage Can Help You Purchase a Home

Andrew Scammon from Alpine Mortgage joins me today to help explain how you can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home.

Today I’m joined by Andrew Scammon from Alpine Mortgage to talk about how you can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home. 

We work with more and more folks nowadays who are either retired or about to retire and would like to buy a new home but are unsure they can qualify for a conventional loan. This is typically because they either live on a fixed income or are about to live on a fixed income. 

If you’re planning to downsize as part of your retirement plan, a reverse mortgage could be a useful tool for you because when you compare a reverse mortgage to a cash purchase, it effectively doubles your money.

This comes in handy for anyone wanting to sell off their existing home and downsize but knows they won’t realize enough benefit from that sale to make a cash purchase for their next home. If you net $200,000 from your home sale, that’s not going to buy much house. A reverse mortgage can double that sum and allow you to purchase a $400,000 house. 

Of course, there are some cautions you need to take. You need to work with a seasoned Realtor who knows their way around the market. If you’re looking for a condominium, it would have to be an FHA-approved condominium. For many people, though, it’s become relatively commonplace to identify properties they love without having to worry about making a mortgage payment or qualifying for one because of reverse mortgages. 


With reverse mortgages, payments are allowed but not required. You can purchase a $400,000 house by putting down $200,000 and getting a $200,000 reverse mortgage. When the house goes to your estate or heirs, they have time to prepare the property, market it effectively, and realize the best gains on it that they can. The reverse mortgage balance is then paid off and the heirs divide up the remaining equity. The only age requirement for using a reverse mortgage is at least one of the borrowers must be 62 years old. 

I want to thank Andrew for joining me today. If you know anyone who is looking to use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home, you can call him at (562) 743-0111 or visit his website at effectiveretirement.com

If you or anyone you know are looking to buy, sell, or downsize, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help.
March 8, 2017

What to Expect Going Forward in the LA Real Estate Market?

Today we're taking a look back at how the market performed in 2016 and what we should expect in LA moving ahead in 2017.

Today I wanted to take a moment to take a look back at how the Los Angeles housing market did in 2016 and provide a forecast for what we can expect from the market moving forward in 2017.

Last year in Los Angeles County, we saw the median price for single-family homes go from $535,000 to $580,000 in 12 months, which is an 8.4% increase. Moving to Orange County, we saw the median price rise from $695,000 to $735,000 in that same 12-month span from January 2016 to January 2017, good for a 5.8% increase. We had a really strong year in terms of price appreciation.

We also continue to experience very low levels of housing supply in our market.

In LA County, for example, we have just 2.4 months worth of homes for sale. That means that if no new homes came onto the market, it would only take 2.4 months to sell all the homes currently on the market at the going rate, and that's a very low number. In Orange County, we have just 2.6 months of supply. These are some of the lowest levels of inventory we've seen in a long time, and they are certainly the lowest numbers I've seen in my 13 years in real estate.

There are a few reasons for this low inventory, starting with the fact that there are a lot of people looking to buy a home thanks to low interest rates. Additionally, there are a lot of people who simply don't want to sell their house. Many of these people are baby boomers who have lived in their house for decades and just don't have a reason to sell it.


This year, the California Association of Realtors forecasts that we will have another good year with prices rising about 4.6% throughout the state of California. If you've been thinking about selling your house, it's a great time to figure out what your home is worth, and we've got great online value calculator that can give you an idea. This calculator can't consider everything in your home like your view and the updates you've made to the home, which is where I come in.

If you'd like me to tell you exactly what your home is worth or you're thinking about buying a home in the LA area, give me a call or send me an email. I'd be glad to help!
Dec. 16, 2016

Should You Have Your Home in a Trust??

Today I am here with Reba Birmingham from Long Beach Law to talk about the pros and cons of having your home in a trust.

The main pro to having your home or property in a trust is avoiding probate. Probate is very expensive, and it typically takes 10 months to a year. It cost 4% of the first $100,000 and 3% of the next $100,000. It then costs 2% of the next $800,000.

Something important to know is that real estate is valued at its fair market value. So, if you have a $1 million house with a $900,000 mortgage, you don’t have a $100,000 probate, you have a $1 million probate. So, if you want your loved ones to inherit the house instead of having to sell it, it’s best to do a trust.

The con to having your home or property in a trust is that is does cost a little bit. Always avoid Internet bargains because you could get scammed. If you do want to put your property in a trust, have a professional help you.

If you have any other questions, you can get a hold of Reba by phone at (562-621-6300) or go to www.longbeachlaw.com.
Nov. 16, 2016

Are the Holidays a Good Time to Sell in LA & Orange County?


The holiday season is actually a great time to sell a home. Rates are low, fewer homes are on the market, and a lot of buyers need to close by the end of the year.

With the holidays approaching, myself and Corinne Wallace are often asked questions by folks this time of year that are thinking of selling. They want to know if selling now in LA and Orange County is a good idea, or if they should wait until after the new year. 

In our experience, now is a better time to sell than if you wait. There are five different reasons why:

1. Interest rates are still low. There is a chance that they will go up in December when the Fed meets. Locking in a low rate now is smart.


2. There are typically fewer homes on the market, giving buyers fewer to choose from. 

3. Homes that are decorated for the holidays really sell quickly.

4. There are buyers that want to buy and close before the holidays. December is actually the top month for closed home sales.

5. The buyers looking to buy during the holidays are very serious. There will be fewer looky-loos coming through your home.

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home in Long Beach, LA, or Orange County, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.